Unemployment in the Great Recession: Did the Housing Market Crisis Prevent the Unemployed from Moving to Take Jobs?

Author: Farber, Henry S.

Source: The American Economic Review, Volume 102, Number 3, May 2012 , pp. 520-525(6)

Publisher: American Economic Association

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The labor market in the Great Recession and its aftermath is characterized by great difficulty in escaping unemployment. I present two empirical analyses of a particular explanation for that difficulty, that the housing market crisis has prevented the unemployed from selling their homes and moving to take new jobs. First, I examine post-job-loss mobility rates by home ownership status using data from the Displaced Workers Survey. Second, I examine mobility rates for unemployed homeowners and renters from the month-to-month CPS match. Neither analysis provides any support for the idea that the housing market crisis has reduced mobility of the unemployed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/aer.102.3.520

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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